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I FORGIVE YOU; Wendy makes peace with mum who killed father.

Byline: LORNA HUGHES EXCLUSIVE

WENDY DREW is the forgotten victim of one of Scotland most notorious murders.

Her hopes of a happy life died the night mother Sheila and her lover Brian Tevendale killed her millionaire father Maxwell Garvie.

Last week, Wendy, 45, spoke for the first time about the day that shattered her world.

She said: "My dad is dead, but I forgive my mother - and she knows that."

Now Wendy is to write a book about the crime that has haunted her life.

She added: "I don't have a past and it's difficult to look towards a future. What happened that night has ruined many people's lives, including mine.

"I have had little or no contact with my brother and sister, my marriage has failed and I don't have a good relationship with my daughter.

"The terrible legacy lives on and I don't think I will ever escape it."

Wealth, lust, jealousy and bitter betrayal were all ingredients of the Sheila Garvie murder trial, which scandalised Scotland.

Sheila Watson was just 20 when she married Maxwell Garvie, 35 - a wealthy farmer and one of the country's most eligible bachelors.

But his young wife soon discovered he had a dark side. He forced her to indulge in outrageous sexual behaviour, insisted they both join nudist clubs, drank heavily and took drugs.

He also ordered Sheila to take a lover, and selected Brian Tevendale for her, brother of Garvie's mistress, Trudy Birse.

But Sheila fell in love with the handsome farm worker and they plotted to get rid of her domineering husband.

In the early hours of May 15, 1968, Garvie was murdered as he slept - shot through the head by Tevendale while Sheila hid in the bathroom.

His body was dumped in a disused quarry and may have remained there if Sheila had not confessed to her mother.

Edith Watson, furious at her daughter's continuing affair with Tevendale, went straight to the police.

The murder had disastrous consequences for Wendy, then 11, and her brother Lloyd and sister Angela.

The children were looked after by Edith until she died and then cared for by a series of foster families.

Neither Sheila nor Tevendale, who has run a pub in Perthshire since his release from jail, have ever spoken about the case. From her new home in Somerset, Wendy remembers the day when she first realised how close Brian was to her mother.

She said: "My father was a difficult man, very domineering and difficult to live with.

"I remember walking into the sitting room one evening not long before the murders and catching my mother kissing Brian. She begged me not to say anything and I promised. I didn't want to upset her and I forgot all about it."

Her father was killed just weeks later. Wendy, who has suffered mental health problems she partly blames on her childhood trauma, said she was kept away from the explicit details of the murder case by her grandmother.

She said: "During the trial we went to a hotel in Crieff and the staff kept all the newspapers away from us. We knew dad was dead and mum was in prison, but we were spared all the details. I remember sometimes being frightened to go to school, terrified that someone would work out who I was."

She took a part-time job in a local chemist shop and met her husband James shortly after. Wendy said: "I told him about my past and he accepted it, but we never discussed it after that."

Her brother and sister also moved on and the three children inherited the Garvie estate - amounting to almost pounds 1million.

Wendy said: "I had a daughter, but things were not going well with my husband and we split up."

After Sheila's release from prison in 1978, Wendy saw her mum for the first time in many years.

She said: "It was very difficult and she didn't seem to want to talk about what had happened in the past. She'd rather take me to the pub."

After her release, Sheila ran her aunt's guest house in Aberdeen and wed Rhodesian David McLellan in 1979. The marriage was short-lived and she finally found happiness with drilling engineer Charles Mitchell until he died in 1992.

Now living as Sheila Mitchell in Stonehaven, her modest B&B business is just 20 miles from the murder scene at Fourdon, Kincardineshire.

Wendy's brother Lloyd, who set up a drinks business in Aberdeenshire, and sister Angela, who lives in Oxfordshire, rarely speak to her.

And Wendy has no contact with her 22-year-old daughter, who remained with her father after the split.

She said: "It's hard to hold down relationships when you come with as much baggage as I do. I just want to be able to put the past behind me now."

Wendy, who has a history of psychiatric problems, has also been diagnosed schizophrenic. But she's now leading a normal life, working part-time in a local mental health charity shop.
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Publication:Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Jan 27, 2002
Words:834
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